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The age of climate breakdown brings with it an uncertain future, even within our collective imagination we are presented with increasingly dystopian visions of the future. This tendency towards dystopian futures can also be seen in Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) process which emerged as a disciplinary response to challenge commercial design by envisioning radical futures scenarios and artefacts that so far has been limited to museum exhibits. This paper suggests a solution-driven SCD method exploring a ‘designerly' reimagining of existing solar technology as a “back-casted” design solution into the present—a 3D printed optical solar cell. The solar cell is proposed as a possible, speculative alternative for existing solar cells exploring the “what if” possibilities of technological forecasting in a futures-oriented practise, ways in which product design can contribute to climate action today while still looking towards visions of better, more thriving paradigms of futures beyond ‘business as usual’.

Authors: Joey Joseph

Heritage is defined as the set of all material, immaterial, natural and cultural assets, whose immense value is universal and belongs to all people, as a property of present and future world generations. It is therefore an asset to be preserved for future generations. However current design approaches used to implement existing Heritage’s promotion strategies mainly use visual-centric design approaches, as a result of the anthropologic humans’ legacy to live. Thus, people with sensorial-perceptive disabilities (i.e. blinds) are excluded from all design interventions and they rarely can enjoy of the Heritage. This paper presents the results of design researches focused on the role of Design for the inclusive and sustainable enhancement of Cultural and Natural Heritage, with an emphasis on the sensorial-perceptive fruition of sites. It combines Communication Design, Inclusive Design, Digital Modeling and Rapid Prototyping to develop a design framework useful to create sustainable and inclusive communicative solutions for the auditory-visual-haptic enhancement of Heritage.

Authors: Paola Barcarolo, Emilio Rossi

This paper explores how we can know in ways that promote new relations between design and nature, for futures of sustainability. The paper shares observations and reflections made over four years in the collaborative process of editing a book (Design and Nature: A Partnership, in press). During the process, we have synergistically tried to explore and manifest what knowing in a paradigm of a more sensitive and careful relationship between design and nature can entail.Insights include the intersectionality of gender discourse with nature and design relations,the opportunities and risks of leaving academic conventions, the centrality of collaboration in pursuing new ways of knowing.
Authors: Kate Fletcher, Louise St Pierre, Mathilda Tham